A one-shot Christmas story for all you Final fantasy fans, even though it's past Christmas it's for a special reader named bruiser. Thanks for loving my story. This one is for you!

A Christmas present for you…

There was hustle and bustle out in the streets in downtown Eden. People littered the streets going into shops and restaurants. It was that time of the year, where people spend all their money on things they don't need or going insane trying to figure out what in the world they were going to get their loved ones.

That's right, the season of the year where the air gets crisp, snow begins to fall and people go mad.

It was Christmas.

Lightning didn't hate Christmas, she just disliked it. Things just became so commercial; she decided she wouldn't celebrate it anymore. Now here she was, in downtown Eden, getting Christmas gifts. What's more strange was that she was with Hope…how did I end up here?

Flash back

Lightning was at home, alone, reading a book. Serah and Snow had gone out to buy some Christmas presents for their family Christmas. They offered her to come along, but she refused. The worst thing about Christmas were the crowded stores and having to 'look' for gifts. Lightning enjoyed her quiet times and since Snow had been noisy this whole time singing Christmas carols, she gladly welcomed the quiet atmosphere. Though an hour since they left, the doorbell rang, revealing it was Hope standing out in the cold.

"Hope, what are you doing here?" Lightning just stared at the young boy perplexed.

"Oh um, hey Light. Well um…"

Lightning just kept on staring, from what she preserved, he looked nervous about something. "Hope what is it?" She was a little agitated. Her peaceful morning was now disrupted.

Hope scratched the back of his head, sensing Lightning was getting irritated. He looked away from her, unable to look her in the eyes. "Well you see, I was hoping that you would help me with something." He glanced to see her leaning on the door frame with her arms crossed.

Lightning was becoming amused by Hope. He wanted something from the way he was acting, something was up. "Hope, for the third time, what is it?"

Hope blushed a rosy pink. "Well I kinda wanted some help getting a few Christmas presents. "He was so nervous asking her; he looked away, but glanced back to see her response.

Lightning frowned a bit standing up from leaning on the door frame. "Hope, I'm not the type of person to go Christmas shopping"

Hope frowned little disappointed. "You're the only one I can ask."

Lightning sighed. Holding the brim of her nose. "Seriously Hope. I don't go Christmas shopping." She softened a bit." Why not ask Snow? He's already downtown buying gifts."

Hope shook his head. "I can't. He would just make to big deal out of it and everyone else is busy. Please Light?" he pleaded gazing his puppy look at Lightning.

All she could do was sigh. "Who are you getting the present for?"

Hope blushed wildly this time. "It's for um, a…girl…I like." He glanced at her noticing a small smile form on her face.

"Well I can understand why you don't want Snow's help now." Lightning crossed her arms. "That big idiot would defiantly make things a big mess if he found out." She was becoming a little annoyed just thinking about it. "Fine… I'll help you out. Let me just grab my things and we can be on our way."

End flashback

How she agreed to something like that was beyond her. Sure she has a soft spot for Hope, but to agree to something like this? What was she thinking? Hope has a crush on some girl and wants her help to pick out a gift? Was she even capable of such a thing?

So now there she was, standing next to him looking into a store.

"Do you think we should try this one?" hope asked unsure of how this day was going to go.

Lightning just shrugged. "You got me? Does she like these types of things?"

Hope sighed. "I'm not sure what she likes. She never really says. Kind of quiet and reserved, but she stands up for what is right. If someone tries anything she is right there to kick the person in the butt. She doesn't take anything from no one." Hope just started rambling thinking about his 'special girl.'

Lightning was impressed. Hope was coming out of his shell. "She sounds impressive."

Hope blushed rubbing the back of his neck, taking a look up at Lightning. "She is."

Lightning smiled. "Well let's go get this special girl of yours something special, shall we." Lightning couldn't help, but help him.

"Ok." He smiled feeling a little bit more comfortable now that Lightning seemed more into this gave him more well…hope.

They both walked into the store glancing around. Christmas music played in the background; people chattering away with each other, other people were snatching gifts before another person got there. People sure do act crazy during this time of the year. Especially Fang, never will she invite her again during this season. Just thinking about it made her angry.

Hope went down one aisle where they sold perfume. "Do you think I could get her something like this?" he asked inquisitly.

Lightning was snapped back to reality from her thoughts of killing Fang back to Hope. "How should I know? Who are you getting it for?" Lightning was a little curious about who Hope liked.

Hope blushed a deep red; he stammered so much Lighting couldn't even make out a single word. She held her hand up a little amused by his reaction. "Ok, you don't have to tell me if you don't want to." She smiled.

Hope shot his head up. "I-it's not that I don't want to…"

Lightning cut him off "Here let me help you pick one." Picking up a fragrance smelling it.

Hope just stared at Lightning watching her pick up one fragrance after another. She sometimes made a little cringe with her nose, while other times her face would soften. Her face would sometimes light up or she would take an extra sniff to one she really enjoyed. After a few minutes, Lightning found the perfect one, handing it to Hope.

"Here I think she would really like this one." Lightning smiled.

"Do you really think so?" would you wear it?" he asked hesitantly.

Lightning crossed her arms thinking about it.. "Well I normally don't wear any. Especially if I'm on a mission, it would give me away, but I this this scent I could wear for every day. It has a nice soft smell, not to strong and a little sweet." She explained.

Hope drank in every word smiling. "Then it's perfect!"

Lightning smiled pleased with herself. "Anything else you need?"

"Lightning? Is that you?" came a familiar female voice.

Lightning hesitated to turn around knowing full well that is was her sister. "Hey Serah."

"I knew it! What are you doing here? You normally don't go out shopping during this season." Serah asked puzzled, noticing Hope behind her. "Oh hi Hope." She then pointed to each of them. "Are you to here together?"

Lightning sighed, might as well tell her. "Hope needed some help picking out a gift."

Serah looked at Hope. He seemed to be embarrassed. "Really? Could it be for a girl?"

Snow then suddenly came up behind Serah, grabbing her around the waist, using her shoulder for a chin rest. "Who is buying a gift for a girl?"

Serah pointed over to Hope smiling. "Him."

Snow went around putting his arm around Hope. "Hey good job kiddo. So you like a girl huh? Your now on your way to becoming a man. You can be her hero baby!" Snow was getting too excited. He threw his fist into the air cheering for Hope. "So who is the lucky gal?"

Hope sighed. The one thing he didn't want to happen just happened. Someone shoot me right now…

Lightening grabbed Snow's around taking it off of Hope's shoulder. "That is for Hope to know and you to not find out." She said firmly.

"Aw, come on sis. I wanna know!" Snow whined.

Lightening looked snow in the eyes. "Don't call me sis."

Hope just stood back and watched. He was about to give in to Snow but Lightning took charge. "Hope doesn't want anyone to know, so just give it a rest. Were in a hurry so we need to get going. You can talk to us when we get back." Lightning grabbed Hope by the hand leading the two to the checkout. Thankfully they were not being followed.

Hope just looked and stared at the floor. "Thanks Lightning."

She stopped right before the checkout line looking down at the boy. "It was no problem. That guy just irritates me when he gets nosey."

Hope then smiled. "You get annoyed at Snow period, no matter what he does."

Lightning sighed shrugging. "You have a point."

Hope smiled and hopped in line. He paid for his gift and they walked out the door. Hope was pleased with himself and now forgot all about Snow. He then saw a food stand selling sweets and his sweet tooth took over. "Hey Light want to get a sweet before we get going?"

Lightning shrugged "Why not."

They walked over to the stand and was now standing in front of the cashier. Hope looked up at Lightning smiling. "Hey it's on me, get whatever you want." He said excitedly.

"Are you sure about that Hope?"

"Ya its ok. You could say it's a thanks for helping me out today."

Lightning wanted to refuse but gave in. "Ok fine. You can buy it for me. Get me come cotton candy."

"Sure!" Hope ordered their treats and handed lightning hers. He just so happened to get the same thing only in a different flavor.

"Thanks. So what now. Need to go anywhere else?" she asked thoughtfully.

Hope didn't have anything else planned. Honestly he didn't even think he would get this far. He looked over to his left and saw the park. It had snowed the night before so everything was a pretty winter white. A perfect winter wonderland. "How about we go this way through the park. We can finish our cotton candy there and finish up shopping."

"I guess so. Thankfully it's not too cold outside." Lightning was enjoying herself. Even though Hope was still young he was good company to have around, not like that idiot Snow who always thinks he is a hot shot.

They walked along the path under neither tree branches that was packed with a beautiful white. There was a fountain that was in the middle of the park and Hope stopped there to look at the sculptor. Even though they had turned the water off it was still pretty to look at. A beautiful angel lifting up another angel to stand next to him.

Lightning noticed that Hope was starting to act different. Was something bothering him? Was Snow getting to him? "Hey Hope. Is there something on your mind?"

Hope looked up at Lightning blushing. "Lightning, do you remember when you asked who I liked…" he said quietly.

Lighting knew something was up. Maybe he needed help telling her? But why ask for her help, she was horrible at expressing her feelings. "Yes, I remember. What about it?"

Hope blushed a deeper red. "Well, I'm ready to tell you who she is." He kicked some snow by his foot.

"Yes…and who is she?"

"Well she is…her name is…" Hope fiddled with the bag that the perfume was in. Now was his chance, his moment to say something. "The girl is…" he then held the bag out in front of him. He bowed his head holding the bag to her…Lightning…the girl he liked. "It's you. You're the one I have a crush one…"

"H-Hope…"she tried to get something in but Hope kept on going.

"Ever since we met, ever since you helped me, never abandoning me, helping me to become strong, giving me your knife…"

"Hope I did try leaving you…"

"Helping me along the way, letting me lead, teaching me everything you knew to become a warrior, someone who can stand up for what was right and not running away."

Lightning couldn't believe what she was hearing. Hope had a crush on her. From the very beginning! She had no idea what to do he just kept on going, kept on talking about her and what she had done for him. He bought the gift for HER!

"So this gift is for you. It would honor me if you would accept it. I know you're older than me and I know that right now it wouldn't be right, but I'll wait, I'll be patient. If I can be with you I'm happy." Hope peered up to see a stunned but smiling Lightning.

"H-Hope. I'm honored. Really. But I'm not sure what to say?" Lightning honestly had no idea what to do. She took the bag from him rubbing his hair. "Thank you Hope. I do accept it. I'm just not sure what I should say to our feelings though…"

Hope sheepishly motioned for her to come closer. "Can I whisper something to you? I don't want to say it out loud." He asked hesitantly.

Lightning sighed. She thought she would abide his words so that she could put him down gently. So she leaned down closer to his level waiting for what he was going to say.

Hope took a deep breath and let it out. "Lightning…I love you." He then gave her a sweet kiss on the cheek.

Lightning stood up shocked that even Hope was that bold to do something like that, though the little 'incident' at the party might have helped it along, but she wasn't mad though. The 'incident' was indeed something she would have never expected and maybe it softened her up. It looked as if Hope was waiting for a lecture or something, probably because of how mad she got last time she ran out of the house ready to kill Fang. Lighting thankfully smiled from this and she returned the favor. She also gave him a kiss on the cheek, whispering. "Thank you Hope. I'll treasure your words forever." She then stood up. Hope was so shocked by her actions. He had placed his hand over the spot where she had kissed him staring blankly ahead. He was still alive.

Lightning then got serious. "I will say this Hope. If you don't want to get harassed by Snow I suggest we keep this to ourselves."

Hope shook his head coming back down from cloud nine. "R-right. Not a word." He said smiling. "You want to go back now?"

Lightning smiled "Sure."

They both walked out of the park, but before they had left Hope asked one last question. "Do you think…could we…h-hold hands?" Hope asked nervously.

Lightning peered down at him. "Don't push it." Her harsh face then turned into a smile. "Come on Hope let's go."

So how did you like it? I think this was a sweet little one where they don't technically get 'together' but a nice way of putting that lightning does appreciate Hope and adores him.

Well thanks for reading and if you have read mistletoe mayhem you know why Lightning wanted to 'kill' Fang lol

Criticism is welcomed thanks enjoy the last few days of the year :)